Closing Thought–20Jul17

Facing One More Challenge!

Sen. John McCain has had to face many challenges in his life….POW, political winds and now a medical challenge…..

Arizona Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, his office said in a statement Wednesday. The 80-year-old lawmaker has glioblastoma, an aggressive cancer, according to doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, where McCain had a blood clot removed from above his left eye last Friday. “Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot,” his office said in a statement. According to the American Brain Tumor Association, more than 12,000 people a year are diagnosed with glioblastoma, a particularly aggressive type of tumor. The American Cancer Society puts the five-year survival rate for patients over 55 at about 4%.

It’s the same type of tumor that struck McCain’s close Democratic colleague in legislative battles, the late Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. The tumor digs tentacle-like roots into normal brain tissue. Patients fare best when surgeons can cut out all the visible tumor, which happened with McCain’s tumor, according to his office. That isn’t a cure; cancerous cells that aren’t visible still tend to lurk, the reason McCain’s doctors are considering further treatment, including chemotherapy and radiation. McCain has had a lifetime of near-death experiences, reports the AP: surviving the July 1967 fire and explosion on the USS Forrestal that killed 134 sailors; flying into power lines in Spain; the October 1967 shoot-down of his Navy aircraft and fall into Truc Bach Lake in Hanoi; and 5.5 years in a North Vietnamese prison.

McCain has always been a fighter and I am sure that he will fight this turn tooth and nail……if anyone can beat this diagnosis it is John McCain.

While we seldom agreed with McCain politically IST wishes to issue a strong support for a speedy recovery…..and our prayers are with him and his family.

Time to kick back and relax for the rest of the day….I shall return with a bag of more stuff…..chuq

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Throw Jeff Under The Bus!

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III…that mild mannered ex-Senator from the great state of Alabama that became the head honcho of the DoJ….he became the Attorney General of the United States of America……

Sessions, the first and only Congressional supporter of Trump in the beginning…he was rewarded for his support and loyalty once “The Man” was elected to the high office…….

Once AG and because of his ties to the Russian thingy he did what any good “politico” should have done…..he recused himself from the investigation so there could be no conflict of interests……

Trump has done more harm to his “agenda” through Twitter than anything the media has attempted…..as with everything Trumpian…it is always about him….on more than one occasion he has Tweeted about his people around him and each time has pretty much thrown them under the “political bus”…..

No one is immune to his “dressing down”…..the SPOX is not….his son-in-law is not…..and now Sessions is the butt of his, Trump’s, ego……but this time it was an interview with NY Times and not on Twitter…….

President Trump says he would never have hired Jeff Sessions as his attorney general if he had known Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. In a New York Times interview, Trump makes it clear that he feels he has been shabbily treated by Sessions, who was the first senator to support his candidacy. “Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” Trump said, referring to himself in the third person. “If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you,'” Trump said. “It’s extremely unfair—and that’s a mild word—to the president.”

Sources tell CNN that Sessions has no intention of resigning after Trump’s remarks. In the wide-ranging NYT interview, Trump said he has no regrets about firing FBI chief James Comey. “I did a great thing for the American people,” he said. He said that weeks before his inauguration, Comey told him about a dossier full of allegations against him, in a move that Trump now believes was an attempt to show he had leverage. Trump also accused special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the Russia investigation, of having “many” conflicts of interest. Asked about his recently disclosed second conversation with Vladimir Putin, Trump said they had discussed adoption, noting that it was the same subject that came up in Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer last year.

Will Sessions turn the other cheek?

Or will he hand in his resignation?

Will he remain a boot licker or will he bow out with some of his dignity intact?

180 And Counting!

Seriously?

It has only been 6 months since we elected Trump as president?  Are you sure?

6 months of a systematic attempt to destroy civics.

In a mere 6 months we have had it all…intrigue, back stabbing, nepotism, spying, brain washing, bullying and lying……..everything but governing….good times for us Bloggers.

Most America is weary of the silliness of Washington in so many ways.

Would you like to talk about Russia?  Not a chance!

How about health care?

A waste of time.

Trump has changed positions on the health care bill so many times that no one is sure what he wants to do…..if you do not like his position today then wait for Twitter tomorrow and it will be something new.

And remember after being elected Mr. Trump saved all those jobs at Carrier?  If so then he strikes out here also…..

Carrier Corp. plans to eliminate 338 jobs at its Indianapolis furnace factory Thursday — and the timing is likely to raise some eyebrows.

The previously announced layoffs coincide, to the day, with the six-month anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency. They are part of a deal Trump struck with the company in December to prevent deeper job cuts at the plant.

The terminations are the first wave of about 630 planned before the end of the year as the company shifts work to Mexico. Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies Corp., also plans to lay off another 700 workers at a factory in Huntington near Fort Wayne.

After 180 days what can we say about his “milestone”?

Six months since Donald Trump was sworn into office, the basic political configuration of the United States has not changed significantly, which in turn has limited his political power and made it difficult for him to implement his agenda. The most important question at the moment is why the political configuration hasn’t changed and whether he can now transform it. This may seem like mere politics – the geopolitical realities of international power remain unchanged – but clearly, a weak U.S. president potentially increases barriers to American power. If nothing else, a weak president can compel other nations to stall or even resist the president’s initiatives.

Source: The Trump Presidency, 6 Months In – Geopolitical Futures

He has made good on one of his campaign promises……to create jobs.

He has created more jobs for lawyers than any president in history.

What will the next 180 bring?

Spying By The Book

I do love a good spy thriller…..and we have a whopper going on in DC proper….

You know I really think that the mash up with Don, Jr and his spies would not be such a big deal if he would have come clean in the beginning….now every time he opens his mouth few will believe anything he is saying….even FOX News is starting to doubt his honesty…..

There is more from an ex-KGB spy…….

The story of the Trump presidency is quickly turning into a bad spy novel with bumbling, idiotic protagonists.

Donald Trump Jr. stumbled into a major scandal this past week when he tweeted out emails showing that he actively tried to collude with a surrogate of the Russian government to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton.

It was soon revealed that the meeting was a bigger affair than it originally seemed, with eight people in attendance. Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Rob Goldstone, Moscow-connected attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, a translator, and one as yet unrevealed participant all attended.

Source: An Ex-KGB Spy Just Revealed A Chilling New Detail About Trump Jr.’s Secret Russian Meeting

How does this situation stack up against known KGB techniques?

Donald Trump Jr.’s June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer and a Russian-American Lobbyist – among others – begs the question, was this a Russian intelligence operation? If so, is this typical Russian tradecraft, or something out of the ordinary? And what should we expect in the coming years? The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder asked former CIA Chief of Station Daniel Hoffman, who did a tour in the Soviet Union and is a Russia expert, his thoughts on this.

Source: Straight Out of the Russian Intelligence Playbook | The Cipher Brief

How will this bad novel turn out?

Dammit! Iran!

Back in the Dark Ages, the Obama Years, there was a nuke deal that was signed by the world and Iran…a deal which if they stuck to it would eliminate some sanctions and lessen others…..

Then Trump came to the pinnacle of power and his little commie toady, Flynn (before he was caught in a lie and forced to resign) made a statement that the Trump admin was putting Iran on notice.

Notice for what few are sure of….but they were put there anyway.

While grousing about what a “bad deal” they believe it was, Trump Administration officials accused Iran of having violated “the spirit” of the deal, offering absolutely no details on what that even means, or how the administration,which has repeatedly gone on record as not liking the deal in the first place, interprets that spirit.

Then a couple of days ago word came down about Iran and the deal that they signed…..

Facing a deadline of Monday, President Trump is going to have to re-certify to Congress that Iran is totally complying with its obligations under the P5+1 deal, which effectively delays his expected effort to force a “renegotiation,” an idea that no other party of the treaty seems at all interested in.

The fact that Iran is complying with the deal is no surprise, of course, as the IAEA issues monthly reports to that effect anyhow. Still, it wasn’t a slam dunk that the administration was going to tell the truth, and there was speculation that they might withhold the re-certification.

(antiwar.com)

Trump is not happy about having to certify that Iran is in compliance with the deal….

It’s a problematic position, but mostly boils down to the Trump Administration being keen to have some excuse to “rip up” the nuclear deal as they’d long threatened to do, and being incredibly annoyed at the fact that they don’t have a pretext to do so.

This has officials publicly admitting that Iran is complying with the deal, and threatening new sanctions against them anyhow, because that compliance “won’t go unpunished.” This is a confusing position that’s likely to be a problem for the other P5+1 members, who already see the US, and not Iran as the weak link in the deal.

(antiwar.com)

Why would anyone be disappointed in the fact that Iran is in compliance….unless they are looking for an excuse to do something stupid.

Iran is still “one of the most dangerous threats to US interests and to regional stability,” one senior administration official told reporters Monday, per Reuters, detailing all of the ways in which the country remains problematic. Those issues include Iran’s enabling of terrorism in Syria and its continued development of ballistic missiles, which, in combination with other issues, leaves Iran “unquestionably in default of the spirit of the [deal]” signed by the US, the EU, France, Britain, Russia, China, and Germany. The White House plans to handle this, per the official, by tightening the agreement (and then enforcing its mandates), and taking on “the totality of Iran’s malign behavior” beyond the nuclear deal, which could include new sanctions, per CNN. Trump aides tell the Times the president is “frustrated” and won’t keep recertifying compliance if Iran doesn’t get its act together.

Sounds like someone wants to go to war and nothing Iran does will prevent it from happening……is this the new “norm” for American foreign policy?

A better question would be…..who is the true enemy we should fret over?

It is one of the great ironies that the United States, a land mass protected by two broad oceans while also benefitting from the world’s largest economy and most powerful military, persists in viewing itself as a potential victim, vulnerable and surrounded by enemies. In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

Source: Who Is the Real Enemy? – The Unz Review

Personally, I think he, Trump, is looking in the wrong direction for the “enemy”.

How Economics Became A Religion

It seems that somewhere along the line we, as humans, have lost our religion…the one where we embrace some god or another……it has been embraced by the love of greed and money.

This press is of an English article from the Guardian……but it speaks pretty much to most of the world……

The long read: Its moral code promises salvation, its high priests uphold their orthodoxy. But perhaps too many of its doctrines are taken on faith.

Although England has an established church, few of us today pay it much mind. We follow an even more powerful religion, around which we have oriented our lives: economics. Think about it. Economics offers a comprehensive doctrine with a moral code promising adherents salvation in this world; an ideology so compelling that the faithful remake whole societies to conform to its demands. It has its gnostics, mystics and magicians who conjure money out of thin air, using spells such as “derivative” or “structured investment vehicle”. And, like the old religions it has displaced, it has its prophets, reformists, moralists and above all, its high priests who uphold orthodoxy in the face of heresy.

Source: How economics became a religion | John Rapley | News | The Guardian